Need Recommendations For A MP 50mm Lens

Just wanted to see if anyone has first hand working knowledge of a C/CS mount varifocal day/night lens with up to 50mm zoom? I have read the articles here about MP lenses, but I also know that new products come out as time passes. Are there any new breakthroughs in lenses? Anything you would like to suggest?

Background info is that I am going to mount a 3MP box cam (Dahua or Hik most likely) on an apartment building to view the incoming vehicles as they enter the complex. Due to the layout of the property, this is my best vantage point. In order to maximize my PPF on the two car path, I need about 40mm of zoom per JVSG calculations. I would like to have a little room for error, as well as I don't usually like to count on the full amount of zoom being available and stay in focus. We have found that you usually can't get the full amount of zoom and also achieve proper focus as well.

As far as cost, would like to stay as cheap as effectively possible. I have seen some Fuji lenses in the sub $200 range. That would probably be what I would expect to spend, unless $400 is really worth it to achieve a much better image.

Check out the link above. Key notes on the lens are as follows:

For use with special P-Iris cameras ONLY!

To protect cameras from damage, P-iris connector plugs are designed NOT TO fit regular cameras.

  • 1/2.7” Format
  • 3 Megapixel
  • 12.5-50mm Varifocal
  • Full HD Format
  • P-iris (precise iris) technology
  • Precise Focus Adjustment
  • New Focus Lock System
  • IR Corrected Optics
  • Corner Brightness
  • Manual iris and DC Auto iris models also available
  • Compatible with Allied Vision Technology's

Do you have anything to add as far as experience with this product? I can find many lenses online as well, but without first hand usage, specs can be meaningless.

Jon, I asked Ethan to respond based on his recent longer lens testing.

That said, I don't know of any breakthroughs. Lensing advances slowly.

I assume you have, but just in case, you have read our Flaw in Long Lenses and PTZs test report? Based on that, I'd definitely recommend padding. If PPF says 40mm, you probably want to have the option to go 60mm.

Thanks John. I wish that I had the ability to zoom to 60mm, but looking at the JSVG model, it would no longer cover all of the area needed. I don't have a strict PPF requirement per se. This camera is being tasked for vehicle identification. By that I mean make model color, but not LPR. So, as you see, absolute PPF isn't really critical, but more importantly I want a clear, well focused shot. We have a narrowed area in the driveway into the complex where it narrows from four lanes down to two. It just so happens that the bend in the road at that point puts vehicles directly in line with a building 200' away. The lane at that point is roughly 30' wide. The mounting height would be about 25 feet above grade. We plan on using a box cam with a 1/3" sensor.

Another option that we are going to pitch is using a 2-3MP PTZ instead of the box cam / lens combo. We know this may cost more up front, but will save time and money when considering the possibility of the client wanting the scene changed at a later date. We also are thinking (maybe wrong) that using a PTZ as an engineered product will have a lens paired with it that will be a best matched scenario vs us guessing on a box cam / lens / housing combo. Also, the PTZ we would use would have integrated IR (Dahua or Hik) and that would commonly be missing in the box cam setup.

Is there a prevailing thought that a PTZ would be less likely to have failures due to weather than a box cam / lens / housing combo? The style of PTZ being contemplated is the same style used in the Dahua PTZ article here, but just an IP version (2 or 3mp).

We're quite content with the Fujijfilm YV3.3 × 15SA-SA2. 15-50mm.

That's good to know Rogier. That was one of the models we had looked at and was on our short list of ones to try.

Just to add. They got locking screws on all rings. Which is a must for us, being a factory envoirement. The lens, apart from the mount, is made of plastic. It's sturdy and I haven't had one break so far. And I have 0 complaints about it's optical qualities.

All in all, a good quality lens for a good price imho.

I've tested the Tamron M13VG850IR 8-50mm, Fujinon DV10x8SR4A-SA1L 8-80mm, and the Computar H5Z2518C-MP 25-135mm. I believe out of those three, I preferred the Fuji in terms of mechanical setup. It just seemed slightly easier to focus. I don't think one really had an image quality advantage over the others.

I will also repeat John's point about the effective PPF in these lenses. It's not the same as a 3-8mm lens. Expect about half. If you don't need the PPF and you're just looking for an overview of make, model, and color, then you could be fine.

As far as a PTZ goes, the optics won't really be any better. I haven't seen a PTZ lens yet that's really better than a long fixed lens. However, if the long range IR is attractive to you, it might not be a bad plan. In our test we found that the IR range was long, but the the camera didn't handle headlights and taillights well, to the point where you could very well lose make and model due to them flooding out the image.

If the entrance is fairly well lit at night (5-10lx), you may be better off with a WDR box camera/lens combo, and you could likely still pull color information at night without the headlights absolutely killing it. They're still going to have an effect, but it'll be lessened with a WDR camera.

OK, let me take this back to the basics then. Below is an overview (via Google Maps) of the are we are working on. As you can see, the building that I am measuring from to the street is 200ft. That building has a dormer peak at around 20-25ft in height. There is one tree in the direct view from that camera angle that would need removed and that has been accounted for. The width of the street at the 200ft mark is 30ft wide. I have not been on site after dark, but they assure me there is ambient light. Best guess is around 10lux. I will have to measure one night, but it is a figure I am comfortable using for arguements sake.

The customer wants pricing two ways:

a) Color make and model 24/7

b) Option A + an ANPR solution (two cameras)

Would you offer a PTZ or a box/lens/housing combo for option A and why?

Let's open pandora's box and ask for suggestions on option B as well.

Just be make sure the camera has auto stabilization. We had a similar project a year ago. At the time we were using the Acti kcm5211 4mp. With the 40mm lens, you saw the picture move with the slightest bit of wind.